Mary Queen of the Scots: The Forgotten Reign by Laurel A. Rockefeller

Queen Mary Stuart was one of the most beloved and controversial women in Scottish history. The granddaughter of King James IV and his wife Margaret Tudor, Queen Mary’s status as heiress-apparent to Queen Elizabeth’s throne in England paired with the violence of the Scottish Reformation set the stage for one of the most dramatic and poorly understood lives of the 16th century.

Mary Queen of the Scots tells Mary’s true story, focusing primarily on her reign as queen of Scotland, celebrating her life more than her death and showing us all why she was truly a woman ahead of her time.

Features a detailed timeline, a list of Latin prayers with their English translations, and the lyrics to all four featured period songs performed in the book, including “Depairte, Depairte” (1545) written in Old Scot.

Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4.7-Stars

This is not the first historical fiction work that I’ve read by this author, and like that previous work, it is everything I expected it to be. We immediately start in the forgotten reign of Mary, Queen of the Scots, in Paris when the streets rang with “The king is dead! Long live the queen!”. The queen in question is the grand-niece to King Henry VII of England, Princess Mary, now Queen Mary due to her mother being the Queen Mary of Guise.

When Mary was ten, five years after having been in Paris, news of her cousin, King Edward VI, came that he was deceased. So started the brief reign of her cousin, Lady Jane Gray, instead.

This telling of Queen Mary offers more of her thoughts and reasons behind her actions as she moved from Paris to her return to Scotland to reign as the country’s queen. Most stories of this time highlighted her death versus her actions that led her towards her death.

Queen Mary was notably overshadowed by Queen Elizabeth and had a life wrought with anger, anguish, and bitterness along with love. Turbulent times called for drastic measures and this telling does a beautiful job painting her as such along with the clashing of religions.

This is a very quick and brief historical book about Mary Queen of Scots. I am not sure what age group this work was intended for, but I would definitely say it is geared towards school-age children and it will certainly give them great insight into Mary’s life, told in an easy-read way without making history seem boring.

Karen Meyer’s Review: 4-Stars

A short story very unlike most of Laura Rockefeller’s works. So though it is her usual in-depth research, the story itself just tells the very basic information about Queen Mary’s life. This is more of a documentary than a piece of fiction.

This would be a very good piece for a lazy high school student who didn’t want to do the research themselves, to plagiarize. I love it because I know Laura put her heart into it, but I feel it only gets 4 stars because of its length.

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